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AUGUST NEWS ARCHIVE

SFO - Friday 22nd August, 2003

SLEIGHT TO REPLACE OLIVEIRA AT BELGIUM

Stealth Grand Prix Team Principal Ted Cragg announced today that Englishman Paul Sleight will replace Miguel Oliveira in the team's lead car, for the upcoming SFO Belgian Grand Prix. Sleight will be leaving his own team, Fantom Motorsports, in an effort to move up the grid and challenge the league's front-runners. Paul Heyhoe is expected to replace Sleight in the #1 Fantom car, possibly as soon as Belgium.

Sleight has qualified for the last three events in the SFO, including as high as third in Hungary, which featured a grid of seventeen drivers. Nevertheless technical glitches kept him from finishing each race. Despite the DNF's, Ted Cragg said it was worth giving Sleight a chance. "I've known Paul for at least two years now, and I think everyone in the league was impressed with his Hungary performance, especially in such a large grid. Paul is yearning for a car that is better suited to his talents, and Stealth is certainly able to provide him with that. Most importantly, Paul should give us an excellent chance at securing more points, consolidating second place in the Constructor's, and hopefully closing the gap to Arela" said Cragg.

Portugal's Miguel Oliveira is thus left on the sidelines for this race. Although he qualified for Hungary, Oliveira missed the race, his second DNS in a row. He still sits second in the Driver's Championship, but teammate Miodrag Mihailovic and Arela's Adam Fretter are right behind. Oliveira was unavailable for comment, but at this point Stealth have not confirmed the team's plan for Italy and beyond.

Stealth Grand Prix Communications.

SFO - Friday 22nd August, 2003

WOODS TO CLOSE SOON?

It has been rumoured that Woods Racing may have to step off the SFO grid due to driver problems. Oliver Woods today said: "Nothing's for certain but I really don't want to spoil the reputation of the league and the team by never having drivers bother to turn up. I'm really getting sick of this, as it's happened in all of my time in Simracing - 1 year."

Courtesy Woods Racing media.

SFO - Thursday 21st August, 2003

NWO CONFIRM 2004 LINEUP

It was learned late this evening that the NWO team will retain their lineup for 2004 with Matt Hunt and Jim Moir set to once again take the the wheel of that powerful NWO car. The team that was born out of the ashes of MX Motorsports in the mid-season of 2003 has since gained some brilliant results with Moir taking podiums and Hunt getting faster all the time. This reporter believes that the NWO team will be a large championship challenger in 2004 with a very fast lineup, and now a year's experience in sim-racing for both drivers.

With Hunt's constant gaining of speed, and Moir's superb consistency the team is expected to suprise a few people in 2004, as they have done on numerous occasions in 2003. A better engine package and an unrivaled desire to win should inspire this small English team to the forefront of the SFO 2004 championship and we wish them the very best of luck for the remainder of this season and next year, from everyone here at SimRacingMagazine.

NWO are currently aiming to hold onto third place in the constructors standings after pulling a 6 point gap on ailing Thunder Motorsports, who recently lost their lead driver Kip Dent after he was lying fifth in the Driver's Championship.

SimRacing news service.

F1VWC - Wednesday 20th August, 2003

MATT MAPLE ON POLE FOR HUNGARY

Briton Matt Maple, in just his second race for the JTM Ferrari team, has taken a surprise pole position for this week's F1VWC Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest. Maple edged out Mikko Jakonen, who of course drives for Maple's own team Mapes-VO, but just 0.187 seconds. This was despite a 15 BHP disadvantage to the Honda-engined car. Championship leader Shiry Ryong of SCUM-Holden will start third, just lapping inside the 1:12:00 barrier. Stealth-BMW's Eric Sosa will start fourth, as his team aims to overhaul Annunziata-BMW in the standings before the end of the season. Jakonen's teammate Petri Loukasmaki, a race winner earlier this season, will line up fifth. Most eyes however were on EIRE-Cosworth's Daniel Wilkinson, gunning for a remarkable fifth consecutive victory. He will have his work cut out for him though, starting sixth on the grid amid whispers of fighting flu-like symptoms. A strong grid of sixteen drivers qualified for the race, including debutants David George of Simsoa-Mercedes and Marco Vandenbroeck of TGM Toyota, who had scarcely five days to prepare for the event. As well Kieran Ryan, last season's runner-up in the Championship, managed to squeek into the race after nearly missing qualifying. He will start in sixteenth place though after technical problems with the car.

When asked about his pace, Maple attributed his success to "Lots of practice and nailing my last hotlap. But I could have gone a little quicker, I lost time in the final sector." Maple's pace however may lead to questions about the logic behind him racing, as he could very well take away points from Jakonen. The Finn is in the midst of an extremely tight Championship battle with Shiro Ryong and Daniel Wilkinson, just 11 points separate the top three. Maple responded though that "He [Jakonen] is a better racer than me, just because I can drive hotlaps doesn't mean I can win a race."

SimRacing news service.

SFO - Tuesday 19th August, 2003

FAWCETT TAKES HUNGARY WIN AND INAGURAL SFO CHAMPIONSHIP!

Australian Paul Fawcett has won the 2003 SFO Hungarian Grand Prix, blitzing the field by over one and a half minutes. In so doing, Fawcett claimed more than enough points to clinch the 2003 SFO Driver's Championship. The Arela driver now has 110 points, 57 clear of second place Miguel Oliveira of Stealth-Renault with four races to go. Only six drivers completed the race, and Fawcett was in fact the only driver out of the top five in the standings to do so. Arela stretches its lead in the Constructor's Championship to 27 points over Stealth-Renault, which had a double DNS. NWO's Jim Moir scored a superb second place, taking the team to third in the Constructor's ahead of Thunder Racing. Matt Maple finished in third place to take MMC's first podium of the season. Wade Hayward of Knight was fourth, exactly one minute behind Maple, while Steve Brennen added 4 points and Max Cole 3 to Apex Motorsport's total.

The SFO Media service called the race a "dismal" result, pointing to the fact that seventeen drivers qualified and yet scarcely one third actually raced. Team Managers have apparently been griping about the lack of commitment, and league members are said to be discussing ideas to get drivers more motivated. It remains to be seen however if the league's current setup will continue to detract from drivers finishing races.

In the meantime Fawcett celebrates his success, and is still on pace to beat even Michael Schumacher's points record of 2002. The SFO uses the same points system as Formula 1, and with 110 points he is 34 behind the record of 144 set by Schumacher last year with four races to go.

SimRacing news service.

IGP3 - Monday 18th August, 2003

ELENCEVSKI ON PROVISIONAL POLE FOR HUNGARY

Newly-crowned Analogue Champion Steve Elencevski of Megatron Racing is once again off to a strong start, sitting on provisional pole for the IGP3 Hungarian Grand Prix. The Australian edged Aki Koskinen of Mapes-VO by 0.152 seconds to take his eighth pole of the season. Megatron's Kari Koski sits third, 1.277 seconds behind his teammate. Elencevski is gunning for his tenth win of the season and fourth straight, dating back to the French GP. With just 11 points needed to clinch the overall championship, Elencevski will automatically do so with a first or second place finish. Megatron Racing itself is only 7 points away from the Constructor's Championship, and so a double champagne shower could quite likely be seen at the conclusion of the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix.

SimRacing news service.

F1VWC - Monday 18th August, 2003

F1VWC DEBATES RELEVANCE OF 100% DISTANCES

F1VWC members have recently been debating the relevance and practicality of racing at 100% distance, as established by the league rules. While many drivers departed the series back in March for various reasons, it has been revealed that many did so due to the time pressure and stress of having to complete the full set of laps. For some, simply driving a race can take hours on end and include numerous saves and re-loads. Others however enjoy the challenge and in particular the obvious parallel to real-life Formula 1 race distances.

As Stealth-BMW's Eric Sosa, with sarcastic overtones, said: "I’m starting my 100% distace race...somewhere...I’m in 8th position on the grid...after several tries (or many), finally, I’m out of the first corner in 1st position...great fun!!! ... After my first stint....I don’t give more tries.....I ONLY want to FINISH THE BLOODY RACE!!!!!. Racing without opposition for very long periods of time...feels very “empty” to me....it gets completelly BORING!!!" This is Sosa's first season of league racing, having previously concentrated on hotlap competitions. EIRE's Kieran Ryan however said that "I have fun racing 100%, lapping people, and trying to keep up some good level of concentration, and usually I succeed in it, with the usual spin or error here and there." Ryan finished second in the GPVWC last season for Mapes-VO.

Although the issue is not necessarily decided, league Administrator Andy Graydon is on record as saying "Seriously, 100% is staying." But he has also elaborated and suggested that "For 2004 shall we have updated performance files for races - so that you are fighting on track and not getting so bored? If you want it, and I can do it, then I will do it!!!" Perhaps a rules update is on course for next season, but with many months to go the debate will likely continue, hopefully to the benefit of the F1VWC as a whole and its calibre of racing.

SimRacing news service.

F1VWC - Thursday 14th August, 2003

TENSIONS MOUNTS AS THE HUNGARIAN GP APPROACHES

The Hungaroring track near Budapest, Hungary is the next race on the F1VWC schedule. And the top three drivers will be slugging it out as they fight for the advantage in the Drivers Championship. Shiro Ryong currently leads the driver’s standings by 10 points, but is under pressure from the more powerful cars of Jakonen and Wilkinson. This race could be pivotal in confirming who the real challengers are for the title!

Simsoa have also confirmed that David George is to drive their 2nd car for the remaining 4 races of the season. F1VWC admin wish him the best of luck!

Courtesy F1VWC press service.

SFO - Thursday 14th August, 2003

FAWCETT SECURES POLE POSITION FOR HUNGARY

Paul Fawcett has secured pole posiition in Hungary, the race where he could win the 2003 crown. Fawcett blitzed the circuit to record a time of 1:12.106, which is over 7 tenths faster than his nearest rival.

Miodrag Mihailovic kept his recent form securing a starting position beside Fawcett on the front row. He has qualified just 4 hundredths faster than Paul Sleight, who is settling in very nicely indeed in his second grand prix.

The MMC pair of Matt Maple and Ryan McConkey are next, with Maple injured and not able to produce his best. Jim Moir's sole NWO fills out row three. On row four are Miguel Oliveira and the improving Carl Hallows, row five Adam Fretter and Matt Trower.

Row six is Max Cole and Simon Haywood, who makes his debut for Fantom. Next is Wade Hayward, who is also in his debut grand prix driving for Knight. Steve Brennan, Simon Jeavons (another debutant), Andrew Tab and Chris Knight round out the big field.

Courtesy Michelle Harrison, SFO Media.

IGP3 - Monday 11th August, 2003

ELENCEVSKI TAKES ANALOGUE CROWN

Hockenheim, Germany: Steve Elencevski - Megatron Racing, has been crowned Analogue Champion of 2003. With 4 races remaining he blitzed the field at Hockenheim to take his 9th win of the season & win the analogue championship.

He now only needs to score 11 points on remaining 4 races if his nearest rival Pablo Arteaga will take maximum points from all remaining 4 races, to win the general championship.

Courtesy IGP3 press.

SimRacing Magazine: September News Archive

SimRacing Magazine: October News Archive